Back To School Fun
Using fun activities will make back to school more engaging and exciting for kids and they will probably participate more in the activities. The types of activities that you choose will depend on the age and composition of your class, but there are some that can be used in most situations. The key is to get kids participating and enjoying their time back at school.
Getting To Know You Activities
Getting to Know You activities and ice breakers are great ways to get started. How many times have you been to workshops where you do activities like "Find Someone Who...." These activities are meant to get you moving around and interacting with others instead of staying with one or two familiar people. It may not always feel comfortable for some, but they may meet someone with common interests in the process. A fun twist to this might be to have the four corners of the room as meeting places and then ask questions that require the kids to choose one of the options and move to the appropriate corner. For example: Do you have brothers? Go to corner 1. Do you have sisters? Go to corner 2. Do you have brothers and sisters? Go to corner 3. Are you an only child? Go to corner 4.
If you are interested in some ice breaker mixer cards, check out this freebie.
Learning about your students' interests will help with planning and preparing activities that will engage them in their learning. Just like us, kids are more likely to want to do something if they are interested in the topic.
I always started the year with different interest profiles or activities that helped me to find out more about my students. There are several kinds of activities available, but these are the ones that I used most often.
This is Me booklet (this is part of my basic vocabulary activities booklet)
My heart....my passions (likes and hobbies that are later used for writing prompts. It is part of my using five senses and details writing packet)
Shield (this can be used for displaying talents)
T-shirt (another form of all about me)
Team building and classroom management activities
Another crucial piece of my start up was creating a great community. Team building is important if you want the kids to work together to have a successful year. They become each other's cheerleaders and they encourage each other when things get tough or when behaviors need to be improved.
I did many different activities to make this happen, and I also incorporated classroom management techniques. One of the techniques I started using before retiring was Whole Brain Teaching. This worked well with my kids and I was amazed at how quickly they latched on to the strategies that I used. I didn't get to use it fully, but I was very happy with how the parts I used worked. If you want to learn more about this, you can check it out here. I also created some posters of the rules to use in my classroom. You can find out more here.
Bucket filling activities and Acts of Kindness activities were also part of my lessons during those first weeks of school. These were instrumental in helping the kids to think about others instead of always focusing on themselves.
Positive Self Esteem And Growth Mindset
By now, you probably know that developing positive self esteem is one of the most important things that I focus on with kids. Positive self esteem is so important when developing self confidence and a positive outlook on the world. It is our job as teachers to help kids see that they are valued and important and that they have much to contribute to the world around them.
Having a positive attitude is key for this to happen. In recent years the focus has been on social emotional learning and developing growth mindsets. This has a direct impact of learning. Helping kids to see that they "can" do things and that they are moving forward encourages them to keep trying and they begin to experience more success and their self confidence grows.
You can find several resources in my self esteem category and you can read more about optimism and pessimism activities here.
Communication is key
Communication is a key component for a successful year. This communication involves parents, students, and colleagues. All of these types of communication are necessary. Students need to know what is expected of them and they need to know they are accountable for their actions. They also need to know that there will be communication between you and the parents. This communication should be positive and should not be restricted to problems or concerns that have occurred. Successes should be communicated too. It is very exciting for a parent to hear what is going right with their child. Most parents are used to calls being for negative situations. A positive call can make their day too.
Communicating with colleagues is helpful for many reasons. Collaborating on common units, getting familiar with concerns about other students that you may encounter when on duty or field trips, sharing of materials and other resources, and agreeing on some common rules and routines are some examples.
Back To School Forms
One of the first things I did each year was send home a Getting Acquainted form. I remember being told once by my administrator that kids are precious and parents have entrusted them to us. What better way to acknowledge this than to ask for their input about their child. The Getting Acquainted form also provides valuable information from the parents' perspective which can be helpful during future communication.
The other form that I send home is a Home Reading letter. Many parents want to be able to help with their child's learning, but aren't sure what to do. This letter provides different strategies to use when reading with your child. It also helps parents to see that this is something that should be positive for both the child and the parent rather than stressful and a struggle to do.
Many teachers have sharing times or special helpers or stars in the primary grades. I used to assign certain days for sharing for small groups of children so that it was consistent and not to time consuming during the morning start-up. This routine also helped children to prepare ahead of time when they knew that their sharing day was coming.
For the star or special helper, I changed the person each day. I know that some teachers keep the same person for the week or do some other variation of this, but for me, daily changes worked well. If someone was absent, it was easy to see who was next and make adjustments as needed.
I created a set of start up forms for back to school that include star of the day, sharing day schedule, and some criteria forms and examples, as well as the Getting Acquainted note and the Home Reading letter. You can check it out here.
First Week Of School Resources
I have created several first week of school activities that can also be done virtually, if necessary. These activities are an easy startup to math and language skills after summer break. They can be done in any order, and you can select which ones to do. They are available individually, or as a bundle.
This is only a sampling of what can be done the first week of school that will provide engagement for the kids and set you up for a successful year.
Some Final Tips
Here are a few final tips to think about.
• Simple management things will help you keep your sanity. For example lining up routines, how to walk in hallways, rules for working in small groups, etc.
• Focus on the positive, not the negative. It can be exhausting to constantly redirect those who choose to misbehave or distract others. When you focus on those doing what is expected, often it will encourage other to follow suit.
• Everyday is a fresh start. This goes for students and for YOU.
• Have fun with your students and share stories, anecdotes, etc. with them. Enjoy your time together.
If you are looking for some activities and resources that are free and fun to use, sign up for my newsletter.
Returning To School
The first week back at school can be different things for different kids. Some dread returning, some are scared, some are excited, some are nervous, and some don't really know what to feel. We need to be aware of all these different emotions and find ways to help each child feel comfortable and excited to learn. This won't be easy, and there may be some kids that take a while to adjust, but it is a goal that we should aim to achieve.
If kids are eager to learn, it makes life easier for the teacher as well. It can be challenging to motivate and encourage kids if they don't seem to be interested and they resist participating.
Tips To Make The First Week Back Positive
There are many different things that you can do to help make the first week back positive and help the kids to engage in their learning. Here are a few suggestions.
Use games and ice breakers to help kids to get to know each other and work together as a team. This may be uncomfortable for some of the kids, so be aware of this and try to relieve some of the anxiety or lack of comfort by pairing them with someone they know, or by being their partner or team mate. Make sure the activities are low pressure so that they can be fun, but not too stressful.
If you have kids that were with you last year, give them roles of leadership and allow them to help guide the new kids through the rules and routines and be "the teacher" sometimes. Have them buddy up with some of the others who may be feeling nervous or anxious about joining in.
I often had my students write about their summer holiday and all the adventures they had. But, as I learned that summer break is not always a happy time for some kids, and it is something that they may not feel comfortable sharing about in a written activity or an oral sharing time, I made some adjustments.
I started to share some of my summer adventures with my classes and then do a quick written summary example with them. I then gave kids an option. If they wanted to, they could share their own summer adventure. If they found this difficult, they could write an imaginary story of summer adventures or they could write about another topic. The goal was to get them back to writing so I wanted them to have options that would work with their experiences.
Team Building And Developing Positive Self Esteem
Getting the class to become a team and learn to work together, is really important if you want to have them develop trust and respect for each other. There are many ways to do this, but I feel that the most important piece is creating positive self esteem and a caring attitude towards others.
There are many activities that can be done to help make this happen. I often begin my year by teaching about Tigger and Eeyore and how they view the world. We look at the difference between optimism and pessimism and how that can affect our day. I created some optimist/ pessimist task cards that allow the kids to talk about different situations and how they can react positively or negatively in them.
Once we have learned about optimism and pessimism, I talk to the kids about attitudes and how important they are. I use the phrase, "Attitudes are contagious. Is yours worth catching?" I like to have this posted in the classroom as a reminder when lots of complaining happens.
Success Words, Bucket Filling, And More
Developing self confidence and a belief in oneself is necessary if one is to feel successful and valued. There are several different things that can be done to help with this. Name acrostics, all about me activities, and talent shields are some examples.
One of the activities I like to do is "success or power words". It is amazing how these words can become so powerful when they are a focus. Many of my students would find things that said "believe" and point them out to me when they learned that it was my power word. I even received a couple of gifts that had the word on them. You can find out more here.
Bucket filling activities are also a great way to help kids to see how they cause others to feel based on their words or actions. I remember sharing stories with my class about different situations that happened to me. One time my daughter had her young children talk to me on the phone because they needed reminders to fill buckets instead of emptying them. They immediately changed their behaviors. (Was it the bucket filling reminder or was it wanting to please Grandma? Does it matter, it worked.)
I like to tie in Acts of Kindness to bucket filling. They complement each other nicely. It is great to see the kids focusing on others instead of themselves, as well.
Brain Breaks And Movement
Make sure to include some brain breaks and movement activities during the day. Remember, if we get exhausted the first week back, kids do too. They have been away from school for a couple of months and they need to readjust to sitting and doing activities for several hours of the day.
Each Day Is A Fresh Start
Kids need a reason to want to be at school and learn. If they have a cloud of negative behavior following them around, it is hard to feel motivated to try again or to improve. It is important to allow them to have a fresh start every day and to recognize the improvements in both attitude and behavior. We would want a fresh start and maybe even a do over, so it makes sense to provide this for our kids.
This has been my policy for many years. I also find that if I don't look into the history of a child or get the low down from previous teachers immediately, unless it is related to a health or safety issue, or an IEP, I get to form my own opinion of the child and they have a chance to start with a clean slate.
I learned how valuable this was a few years ago when I had a child with behavior issues that I was unaware of and after 3 weeks in my classroom, his mother commented that it was the longest he had ever been in a regular classroom. At this point, I did check into his history and I learned of some of the issues, but because we had already built up a relationship and he had not exhibited huge behavior issues, we were able to have a successful year. I did have to make some adjustments to different assignments and allow him to have some flexibility in his learning style, but it worked.
Have Fun With Your Students
Have fun with your students and let them into your world. It is important for them to make a connection with you. I find it interesting to see how they react to some of my personal stories about my family, my pets, and my adventures outside of school. They often have wonderful connections and they love sharing them with me.
Years ago when I first started teaching, I was told not to relax and smile at first. It was thought that it would be easier to maintain control and manage the class this way. I learned that it was better to share a part of me and build the relationship immediately. Kids want to feel included, not managed. Enjoy being with your students and they will respond accordingly.
I hope these tips have helped and that you will have a wonderful year. Next time I will share some resources and activities with you. In the meantime, if you are interested in getting some free resources, sign up for my newsletter.
Back To School Insights For The New Year
Back to school time is approaching. For some of you, summer break is over and you are heading back to school. For others, you have another month to go. Of course, as teachers, many of you are already thinking about the new school year and some of the things you will be doing.
I hope you have had time to rest and recharge and that you will have a renewed energy and motivation to get started again. After an exhausting and unprecedented year of teaching through a pandemic, it will be great to return to the classroom again and back to some of the familiar routines and activities.
Here are some insights and suggestions that I hope will help you based on what I have learned throughout the years.
Returning to school this fall will be a bit different since it is at the end of a very difficult year teaching during a pandemic. There will still be some uncertainty as to how things will progress. Will there be another wave, more online or hybrid teaching situations, or extra precautions needed in the physical classroom? Hopefully not, but we still need to be somewhat prepared.
Take what you have learned from teaching virtually and use the good parts to enhance your in-person teaching. Have a plan for teaching using a mixture of in-person and online activities. That way, you can find a blend that works with the current situation. It may not be as overwhelming that way. Many teachers have decided that they will continue to use digital resources in the classroom to supplement their teaching this year.
Preparing For Back To School
Setting up a special classroom environment for teaching is not necessary, but it will definitely make a difference to both the kids and you if it is inviting and well laid out. Just like people are attracted to different homes and designs when choosing a place to live, kids will have an emotional response to their classroom environment.
I know it is not always easy to get into the room ahead of time and do decorating and arranging, but even small things like pops of color, desk groupings, messages on the board, and special centers will help create a positive atmosphere. Once school begins, the kids can perhaps help with adding special touches to the class decor.
Getting Ready For The First Day
Every school and district has it own way of getting classes organized and ready for the new year. In our district, the classes are determined by the numbers of students enrolled and a class size formula. That means that the classes are not finalized until the end of the first week of school.
Instead of forming classes and then restructuring them all after a few days of school, the standard process is to have students return to their classes from the previous year. New students are added to classes of similar ages/grades. After the numbers are finalized, new classes are formed and the whole school is shuffled on the same day.
This process works, but it does require some extra planning when deciding on what activities to do, what the classroom set up will be, and how to make the new students feel welcome and included in a class that is already familiar with rules and routines.
When the reconfiguration is done, some students will move to different classes and some will remain in the same classroom. It is important that they feel special if they are staying with you. I will elaborate more in the next blog post.
School Rules and Routines
It is important to know what your must have rules are for the classroom and also which ones are flexible. During the first few days of school, if you are still not in the final class configurations, some of these rules can be introduced and practiced right away. Regardless of the different groupings, school rules can be introduced and practiced.
There are different ways of doing this. One practice that we have used in the past, is to create family groupings of mixed ages and have them rotate throughout the day to different teachers for lessons on specific rules and expectations. That way, every student is getting the same instruction and information for each expectation.
Another method is to have a school wide chart of expectations posted in each classroom and have the assigned teacher go over each of the expectations with his/her class. Or perhaps, buddy classes could combine to do these lessons.
Remember Self Care
It is important to remember self care as you return to school. Get lots of rest and give yourself some slack. I remember how exhausting the first few weeks of school was. Even though you intellectually know it will be tiring, it still comes as a bit of a shock when it actually happens.
Being well planned will help you to get through this. Brain breaks and physical movement will not only help your students as they adjust to being in school all day, it will give you a mental break and perhaps help you to get through the day better as well.
Next time I will focus more on the first week of school and ways to start the year off positively.
Time for a well-deserved break
The last year has been one of the toughest and most unusual teaching years for most teachers. Surviving a year of uncertainty, constant change, strict protocols for engagement and contact, and a pandemic has been a challenge. It is now time to take a more than deserved break to relax and recharge.
So many questions
As we headed into the school year last fall, there were so many questions and concerns about how to make all of this work. Nobody knew what to expect and teachers were constantly adapting and changing their teaching styles, lessons, and means of sharing information and ideas with their students. They had to learn to teach digitally, in person, and in hybrid situations and still engage students and help everyone to feel safe.
You made it!
Well, my friends, you made it. It may have been ugly at times, and you may not have felt the same joy and satisfaction as in other years, but you need to congratulate yourselves for making it through the year and doing the best you could under the circumstances.
Being retired, I was on the outside looking in most of the time, listening to my colleagues and teacher friends share their experiences and difficulties, but I did get a bit of the experience with how difficult it is to teach online. My husband and I spent the last several months trying to teach our ukulele students on Zoom.
I have to admit, it was very unsatisfying, and we just learned that it is not always a very reliable way of assessing how the kids were doing. Because we were not able to actually hear the kids in a group situation, we had to trust that they were playing correctly and that they understood what we were showing them. We struggled with screens freezing, kids turning off video, kids saying they were playing, but weren't really, and many other things.
When we had them send in videos of their pieces for a virtual concert, we discovered that they didn't always know their own parts, and that they were struggling more than they let on. Luckily, some of the restrictions were just relaxed and we were able to do some one on one sessions this last couple of weeks and fix some of the problems and salvage the season.
I am sure that many of you are looking forward to returning to a more normal teaching situation in the fall. Here's hoping this is true and we can move on. For the next few weeks I will be focusing on getting ready for a new year and providing some tips and ideas for classroom management and the first weeks back at school.
For now, relax, refresh and enjoy your summer break. You deserve it.
As we are about to begin a new year, it is a great time for a fresh start. This year we have all had many challenges and we need to find some renewed energy and hope. Sometimes that can be a breather just to take time with family, or maybe it could be changing things up from the regular routine.
I don't know about others, but I found it difficult to get motivated lately. Even though it is supposed to be a festive season, most days seemed to be the same and it was hard to find moments of anticipation and joy. So many of the things we look forward to at this time of the year were missing due to the pandemic.
For many of my teaching friends, the challenges of teaching during a pandemic have been daunting and they are rapidly burning out and feeling overwhelmed. I hope that the holiday break has given them some time to relax and recharge so they will be refreshed for the start of the new year.
This next season will probably be a mix of online and in person teaching and learning as we continue to get through the pandemic.
Here are some ideas for starting out the new year. Hopefully these will bring some laughter and smiles to your day and give you some joy as you return to teaching.
Do a photo booth. If you are teaching in person, you could add some New Year's hats and blowers, fancy glasses, etc. Have your students create fun poses and take photos of them and then have them write about their goals.
If you are teaching online, you could create some interesting picture frames and then take screenshots of your students and add them to the frames. If they have some fancy accessories at home, perhaps these could be added to their images.
If you are looking for materials to help you through the winter season, here are some that might work for you.
Sight word games and activities, word work, parts of speech silly sentences and other literacy games can be fun when they have a winter theme.
Here are some literacy items in French in case you need them.
Here are some free products that might help.
New Year's Goal Setting Templates
3 Stars and a Wish
Snowy Days Compound Words
Winter Sports Task Card Templates
Goal setting for the New Year
Goal setting is not only good for children, it is also good for us as teachers.
Think of some things that you are proud of and things you would like to work on
(3 stars and a wish)
Come up with a goal for home, school, and something personal. This is the same format that can be used with your students.
If you are looking for some novel studies that are good for the winter season, try these.
Creative writing ideas
Start a statement and see how many crazy ideas you can come up with.
(This could be done orally first, and then developed into a written story.)
I was so frozen my fingers were like popsicles but they didn't taste as good.
I was so frozen .........
It was so cold ........
When I woke up I couldn't believe my eyes..........
If you are looking for some winter math ideas, you can find them here.
I hope you find these suggestions and resources helpful as you return to teaching in January.
Thank you for all you do for your students.
It was 40 years ago that Terry Fox began the Marathon of Hope Run. This run continued after Terry died in 1981 as a tribute to what he had started and it has raised so much money for cancer research.
Here is a repeat of a blog post from 2 years ago. I feel very strongly about this, so I felt it was important to bring it to the forefront again.
The Marathon of Hope began many years ago when Terry Fox was a young man. He lost his leg to bone cancer when he was 18 years old. On April 12, 1980 he started his Marathon of Hope for cancer research.
He was determined to run across Canada and raise $1.00 for every Canadian. He began his run on the east coast by dipping his foot in the Atlantic Ocean.
Terry ran every day for about 42 km (26 miles). Imagine running a marathon distance every day. This is hard enough for someone with two strong legs, but Terry did it with a prosthesis on his one leg. He did this for 143 days.
Terry Fox was unable to finish his Marathon of Hope. On September 1, 1980 he had to stop because cancer appeared in his lungs. He returned to his home and began treatment for the cancer. He was determined to continue fighting. On June 28,1981 his battle ended. He was no longer with us, but his legacy continues on.
Every September cities across Canada and worldwide run in Terry's memory to continue his Marathon of Hope.
Click here to find out more about Terry Fox and his Marathon of Hope.
Here are some free activities to use with your students if you do a Terry Fox run in your area. I know it is very important in our schools and children still learn about our Canadian hero. Click on the image above to get your copy.
Using glyphs for math activities is engaging and very useful when teaching about data. Glyphs are not just pictures. They give informative data about a variety of topics. One picture can provide insight and data for comparing, classifying and counting activities. This can be a great way for sharing details about individuals anonymously as well.
I used glyphs often in my class throughout the years. It was especially fun to use them when preparing for student led conferences. Sometimes I did activities that were interactive with the child and parents. Then we would look at the glyphs later as a class and work with the data. I found using glyphs to be valuable when sharing details about my students anonymously with others. Nobody knew who created the glyphs, but there was lots of information on each of them. These baby blocks were done during one of my conferences. The kids were excited to learn about themselves as babies and it was fun to make comparisons as a class the following day.
Back to school is a great time to introduce glyphs. Bookmarks and name plates can be glyphs. All about me activities can also be done with glyphs. Here is one that I created that might be fun to try at the beginning of the school year, especially when we are possibly using more technology than usual right now.
Glyphs can be seasonal as well. I like to do one with pumpkins in the fall, turkeys around Thanksgiving, and snowmen in the winter. These are just a few suggestions. There are so many different topics that can be used.
Creating the glyphs can be fun, but in order to really appreciate their value, it is important to see what data they provide. Sometimes I ask the children to come up with the questions that could be asked, other times, I will provide a list of questions and we will find the answers together.
Here are some sample questions that might fit different symbols and what they represent. Here is a blank form that I would use when generating questions with my students. I sort the questions out into 3 categories: counting, classifying, and comparing. These different categories provide so much information. The children are always amazed at how much a simple picture can tell. These are all included in my Steps and Templates For Creating Glyphs.
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You should really give it a try. I am sure your students will be amazed at some of the information they learn through this activity.
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When returning back to school, building relationships with our students, either in person, or virtually, is key to having a successful year. People are emotional creatures and they need to know they are cared about and valued. It is important to build a foundation of trust and respect with our students and their parents so that we can work successfully together. Check out this post for some tips for getting to know your students.
Developing a good working relationship with our colleagues is also very important. We need to feel that others are there for us when we have difficulties, to support us, and even to be our cheerleaders. We also need to be there for others when they are struggling and to celebrate with them when breakthroughs happen or special moments happen.
This year, it is especially key for a successful year. There are so many stressed out teachers, co-workers, parents, and children because of all the unknowns with the pandemic. There are so many unanswered questions. Here are just a few of the ones floating around.
What is my classroom going to look like?
How am I going to ensure that social distancing happens?
How do I engage my students when they are not able to work together and share materials?
How do I find a balance between in person and online teaching/learning?
What resources will I need to make this happen?
How do I help my students feel like they belong and they are important?
How do I keep everyone safe?
Will I be able to play with my friends?
How will I be able to get help when I don't understand?
Do I need to wear a mask all day?
What happens when I need to go to the bathroom?
What if I get too close to others or I forget to leave space?
What if I can't remember all the rules?
Who will help me if I need it?
Will my teacher and classmates like me?
Should I send my child to school or home school?
Will my child be safe?
How will I be able to help if I keep my child home?
How do I prepare my child for what to expect at school?
What are they doing to ensure social distancing and a clean environment?
Is it better for my child's mental health to go to school or stay home?
How can I support my child and the teacher?
Safety seems to be the number one thing that concerns everyone. It is important that protocols be in place to ensure the safety of everyone as we navigate through this new way of learning. Working together we can make this happen.
I don't know if anyone has the answers to all these questions, but I do know that we all want what is best for the emotional and physical well-being of those involved.
We need to focus on some of the positives of being together again. Anxiety only increases stress. Try to enjoy being together. Find ways to build those relationships and have a successful year. Here are some tips that still hold true even with the unusual year we are about to begin.
I wish you all the best as we navigate this school year together.
Stay safe, stay calm, and have fun.
Here in Canada, summer vacation is nearing an end and teachers are preparing their classrooms for a new year. In other places, some teachers are already back at school. It is always exciting to freshen up a classroom, prepare for the new students, and just begin a new adventure. However, this year is a different start up because of the pandemic and it will be filled with excitement and trepidation. The uncertainties can be stressful, but together, we will get through it.
With the possibility of a hybrid model or more online teaching, the resources will be somewhat different than in the past. More digital materials are required and ideas for engaging students from a distance are important.
Here are some samples of some bundles and resources. Click on the images to see more about them. Check out the categories in my store for more ideas.
Back to school activities help children get back into learning mode. Here are some ideas for the first few days that will help engage them and get them started.
Decorating up the room makes it feel inviting and fresh. Here is a rainbow themed kit that might work. It is available in French as well.
Taking care of your students' well being is important right now. Positive encouragement and recognition of feelings are key. This self esteem kit can help. When it comes time to report on how things are going, student-led conferences empower the children as they share their learning with their parents. This format has worked well for me for over 20 years of conferences.
Working with measurements is fun for children because it involves concrete activities and it can be directly related to real world situations.
Money is sometimes confusing for children. I created this Money Lessons for Children unit with my grade 3 class a few years ago. It was amazing how much we covered as we learned together.
I love doing projects with my students. It give them hands on experience and also allows for sharing knowledge in different ways. This 3D community unit evolves with each class as the background knowledge and the types of communities chosen can be different to fit the group of children involved.
With the solar system project I am always amazed at the different ways children come up with sharing their understanding.
Even after retiring, I still continue to go into the school to volunteer with guided reading groups. I have created several guided reading study guides and supplements as well as emergent readers and other literacy materials for use with the class and small groups. Here are a few examples.
When I retired, I began tutoring in French. I found that it was easier to make my materials so I could customize them for my students. The cool thing was, that I made them in French first and then discovered that they would work well for my students in English so I created English versions as well.
Distance learning is sure to be happening in many places. I have been working hard to create some digital activities that work for online instruction. Here are the ones I have done so far. Most of them are Boom cards, but I am slowly working on adding some activities for use with Google Slides and Google Classroom.
I am also working at using the Digital Overlay Tool from TpT to make some of my regular products usable for distance learning as well.
Enjoy your time with your new students and returning ones too. Don't forget to get lots of rest also. I always forget just how tired a teacher can get the first few weeks of school. Stay safe.
I wish you a very happy and rewarding year.
It's that time of year again. But it is also different this year. Normally teachers would be planning and creating in a renewed state, eager to start off a new year with new students and exciting activities. This year, there is a lot of uncertainty and stress as teachers fear going back to school and the difficulties it will bring.
Teachers need to support each other through these difficult circumstances. Self care becomes very important. I posted some ideas for self care in my last post. You can check it out here.
As teachers and students return to school, there will be some excitement, and apprehension as new protocols are put in place to deal with the ongoing pandemic. It will be important to help put children at ease as they adjust and learn to engage in a different way.
Start by doing activities that help your students get to know each other and and create relationships. Mixers, groups, and partner activities can still happen, but in a different way. Maintaining social distancing while doing these activities can be a challenge, but as creative teachers, we finds ways to make them happen. That is our super power.
First week activities help students to ease back into learning and following routines. Here are some resources that might help.
These are also available in a bundle that includes start up forms and a back to school kit. I also have several poster sets and theme kits in my Back to School category in my store.
I wish you well as you begin this new year. Stay safe and try to enjoy your time with your students.
About Me Charlene Sequeira
I am a wife, mother of 4, grandmother of 9, and a retired primary and music teacher. I love working with kids and continue to volunteer at school and teach ukulele.